The Lady Colonels of Wilkes University spoiled the 2018 season opener for the Lady Lions of Penn State Hazleton sweeping the match by a score of 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-22). The match was held at the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium in Hazleton Friday night. The Wilkes' offense was was led by Christine Challenger and Laura Booths who had nine kills each while Erin Silverman and Sierra Smith had seven digs apiece. Hazleton was led by Samaya Hornsby's (Richmond, CA) 23 attacks and 5 kills (7 points), while Damaris Ayala (Berwick, PA) and Alessandra Banta (South Amboy, NJ) dished out 6 and 5 assists respectively; Lady Lion libero Lauren Nietz (Coaldale, PA) led all players with 13 digs.
The match started out with both teams feeling each other out and shaking off the pre-season rust trading points back and forth to the 8-8 mark. At that point, Wilkes ran off eight straight points to open up the set. Hazleton scored the next three before the Lady Colonels won the serve back and never looked back building on their lead to up the score to 19-11. The Lady Lions could only muster up two more points as Wilkes closed out the first set by a score of 25-13. Hazleton regrouped in the second set and kept the match very even through out. The teams traded scores back and forth up to the 10-10 mark, when Wilkes took the next two points to go out to a 12-10 lead. After a service error by Wilkes, Hazleton ran off four straight to take a 14-12 lead. The teams would battle back and forth with the score being knotted three more times, the last time being at 21 apiece. Although Wilkes moved to a 24-21 lead, the Lady Lions score two straight to make it close at 24-23 before Wilkes scored the game winner taking the set 25-23. Set three looked like it belonged to the Lady Lions as they jumped out to a quick lead and built it up to a 14-9 mark, but the Lady Colonels fought back and closed the gap to two to three point difference to the 20 point mark. With the score tied at 20 apiece, the teams would trade points with Hazleton leading 22-21; but from that point on it was all Wilkes as they ended up winning the third set 25-22 and ending the match.
With the win, Wilkes goes to 1-0 on the season while Hazleton falls to 0-1. The Lady Lions return to action Wednesday night against Davis College (Johnson City, NY) at home with a start time slated for 6:00 PM.